Holly (WJRT) - (12/14/17) A Mid-Michigan woman with a nationally seen TV show has plans that could give a boost to the Holly area economy. Cari Cucksey wants to covert an old school building into a boutique hotel, banquet center and pub. There are a lot of hoops to jump through but it could happen by the fall of 2019.
Cucksey is seen on the HGTV show Cash and Cari. She and her husband live in Holly. Last year they bought the former Holly Area Schools administration building and have big plans for it.
"What they intend for it to become is something that we're sorely missing. Part of it will become a boutique hotel with 22 hotel rooms," said Katy Hughes, the Holly DDA director.
There would also be banquet rooms and a speakeasy pub. The main part of the building has been around since 1913.
"It started out it's its life as a school house and that's where people went to school. Several classes graduated and people remember their grandparents going there," said Hughes.
It was last used by the River Church but has been vacant for a few years. The DDA thinks it would be a great attraction for Holly.
"It's known so well now for the quaint, charming historic village. Adding a boutique hotel is something that could really make us a destination," Hughes said.
The project could cost more than $3 million. It could create more than 60 jobs when it's up and running. And after more than 100 years as school property, it could finally be added to the tax rolls. One neighbor who lives across the street from the old school like the idea of developing it.
"It's actually a pretty cool building and it's of no use to anybody like it is. I think it would be amazing," said Kim Cousins-Fuller of Holly.
If the project moves forward the building would be restored using the original architectural style.